Peroxides are important bleaching agents, industrially, for cellulosic products. They are also used in detergents. Peroxides can degrade cellulose as well as decolorize it and remove stains. Both free radicals and perhydroxyl anions have been suggested as the intermediates in the reactions occurring between cellulosic products and hydrogen peroxide. The proposed mechanisms are reviewed with emphasis primarily on cotton cellulose. Further work is required to establish unequivocally the mechanism of degradation and decolorization of cellulose products.
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